Enterprise Search Systems Offer More Than Full-Text Search

Enterprise search systems offer more than full-text search

Employees want fast and targeted access to information from anywhere. However, there is a problem with that, says Franz Kögl from IntraFind in his guest article.

Employees hate it when they have to laboriously copy data from one system to another or when an application takes forever to load or respond. This is especially true since they know from cloud tools, mobile apps in the private sphere and, last but not least, working in a home office, how well IT can actually support smooth transitions.

The aversion to bumpy IT systems is particularly pronounced among digital natives. They are used to nothing but a “seamless experience” with digital tools from the very beginning. In their private lives, they transfer an appointment they made on their doctor’s website to their smartphone calendar at the touch of a finger, pay for online purchases directly in the vicinity of the shop via digital payment or quickly send a video they just recorded to a friend via WhatsApp. Why, everyone asks, should things be any different at work?

Companies are of course aware of all this and are therefore working flat out to provide their employees with a smoothly functioning IT. However, one area that is still often neglected is the provision of information. Contracts, invoices, applications, quotes, reports, presentations, emails, videos, social media posts: Companies today are confronted with huge and ever-increasing mountains of documents and information distributed across a wide variety of systems and storage locations – from internal databases, file systems, ERP systems, corporate portals or wikis to file-sharing services in the cloud.

These silos make it difficult for employees to find the information they need to do their jobs. Often they don’t even know where to begin their search. This holds them up, robs them of time and prevents them from pursuing their actual, value-creating tasks. In the worst case, they are even forced to reinvent the wheel. They create a customer presentation from scratch, only to discover by chance shortly afterwards that a colleague of theirs has already recently prepared a presentation on a very similar topic.

Remedy can come from an area that companies may not even have on their radar because they misjudge it: from enterprise search systems. Many companies still associate these systems with mere full-text search. But there have long been high-end solutions that can act as a central infrastructure for seamless information provision. They not only make it possible to integrate the most diverse sources. They also bring advanced text analysis procedures, master artificial intelligence methods, network information with semantic models or graph databases and automatically enrich data with metadata.

These technologies enable modern enterprise search software to efficiently search all available sources in the shortest possible time and to tailor the search mechanisms to the individual requirements of people or departments. In intelligent cockpits, they bring together all existing information relevant to the current tasks of the employees and prepare it clearly and hence in a way that can be used quickly. Stupid, annoying and all too often unsuccessful searches are a thing of the past. This pleases the digital natives as much as the “old hands”. And last but not least, the managers, because increased search efficiency, faster reaction times and extended access to the company’s wealth of knowledge are tangible competitive advantages.


Franz Kögl
Franz Kögl, Member of the Board of IntraFind Software AG